Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced

  • Hon Andrew Little

Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

“I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little.

“I am also pleased to announce the appointment of five inaugural Commissioners to the CCRC, all terms commencing on 15 June 2020.  They are:

  • Kingi Snelgar, for a term of five years
  • Tangi Utikere JP for a term of four years
  • Nigel Hampton CNZM OBE QC, for a term of three years
  • Professor Tracey McIntosh, for a term of four years, and
  • Dr Virginia Hope MNZM, for a term of three years. 

“Colin Carruthers QC, who was appointed in December as the CCRC’s Chief Commissioner for an 18-month term commencing on 1 February 2020, has had his appointment extended until June 2024.

“This will align his appointment with other Commissioner appointments that I have announced today and allow for the future orderly review of the Chief Commissioner position.”

Andrew Little congratulated the Deputy Commissioner and the Commissioners on their appointments.

“Each of them will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to their roles.  Together with Mr Carruthers, they will form the inaugural board in this important new entity in our justice system.

“It is important that the board has a mixture of legal expertise, governance experience and subject matter knowledge, and I am confident we have achieved that with these appointments.”

The CCRC will begin receiving applications for review of convictions and sentences from 1 July 2020.

The CCRC was a significant commitment in the 2017 Labour-New Zealand First coalition agreement.

The board will oversee the CCRC’s primary function, which is to investigate and review convictions and sentences and decide whether to refer them to an appeal court.

Under the CCRC’s legislation at least one member of the CCRC must have knowledge or understanding of te ao Māori and tikanga Māori; at least one-third of the Commissioners must be legally qualified; and at least two-thirds must have experience in working in the criminal justice system or have other knowledge or expertise relevant to the CCRC’s functions.

Biographical information

Paula Rose QSO OStJ has investigation experience, is a current member of the Parole Board, and has worked in a range of governance roles. Ms Rose’s experience in criminal justice comes from her work at New Zealand Police, including as National Manager Road Policing. Ms Rose is a very experienced Crown governor. She is a Commissioner for the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, member of the Broadcasting Standards Authority, Deputy Chair of Worksafe New Zealand and director of several non-governmental organisations including St John South Island Regional Trust Board.

Kingi Snelgar is a criminal defence lawyer and youth advocate based in Manukau. He has whakapapa to Ngapuhi, Ngati Whakaue, Te Whakatohea and Ngai Tahu. Mr Snelgar has experience working in the justice system and has training that is contemporary and relevant to the CCRC’s work. He is also an academic with knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori and te ao Māori.  He is also a counsel to assist the Royal Commission into Abuse in State Care. Before working as a barrister, Mr Snelgar worked at Meredith Connell specialising in criminal prosecution, was a human rights observer at Standing Rock and was also a judge’s clerk and research fellow in the USA. He has also completed a Masters of Law at Harvard Law School as a Fulbright Scholar.

Tangi Utikere JP is the Deputy Mayor of Palmerston North and a leader in his community. Mr Utikere’s experience in the criminal justice sector comes from his work as a Judicial Justice of the Peace and as a Visiting Justice. Mr Utikere has a range of experience working in the community including having been a member of the Cook Islands Society, Secretary and Treasurer of the Pacific Leaders Council and a member of the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs’ Advisory Council. He is also a Panellist and Appeals Tribunal Member for the Judicial Control Authority for Racing, Commissioner for Resource Management Act Hearings and a member of the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal. 

Nigel Hampton CNZM OBE QC is a lawyer who has worked in New Zealand and on the international stage, including the Pacific. Mr Hampton has been a QC since 1989. He was Chief Justice of the Kingdom of Tonga, was the first Disciplinary Commissioner of Counsel in the International Criminal Court and presently is Presiding Member of the Disciplinary Board for the International Criminal Court counsel. His experience in the criminal justice sector includes academic writing on advocacy and criminal law, including in Adams on Criminal Law. He is also an instructor on litigation skills, including in New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa. 

Professor Tracey McIntosh (Ngāi Tūhoe) is a Professor of Indigenous Studies and Co-Head of Te Wānanga o Waipapa at the University of Auckland. Dr McIntosh is also currently the Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry of Social Development. She has a strong interest in the interface between research and policy and ensuring that processes are responsive to and inclusive of tikanga and mātauranga Māori. Her expertise in the criminal justice system has been centred on extensive research on the experience of Māori and Indigenous people with the criminal justice system with a particular focus on incarceration. Her research focuses on social harm reduction, increasing collective wellbeing and disrupting the intergenerational transmission of social inequalities.

Dr Virginia Hope MNZM, who is a pre-eminent health scientist who has worked in universities and research institutes. She is currently Medical Director Health Group at Environmental and Science and Research. Dr Hope has management and governance experience. She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in June 2014 for services to health.